Working as a nurse in Finland

Planning to move to Finland for work?


OBS! Notice the changed circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please see information on the current situation and restrictions. See also the guidelines for border traffic during pandemic and on Corona virus and moving to Finland.

Great to hear that you are planning to move to Finland to work as a nurse! Nevertheless, it should be taken into account, that especially if you arrive outside the EU/EEA countries, the process is both costly and time consuming. The main reasons for this are that you need to have all the required documents officially translated and approved, and to learn the language well enough.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and Work in Finland website offer you important basic information on the issues you need to consider before moving to Finland. Take into account that if you are a non-EU/EEA citizen, you must have a job before you move to Finland. If you are an EU/EEA citizen, you can move to Finland and search for a job during a period of three months.

In Finland you have to have a licence to practice as a nurse. Therefore, when aiming to work as a nurse in Finland, you need to contact first the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (Valvira) in order to apply for the right to practice.

See more infomation on moving to Finland and also a helpful checklist for your guidance. Learn also about the social security benefits in Finland.

See the web pages of Finnish Immigration Services about working in Finland. Also the web pages of the Ministry of Employment and the Economy provide good information on Finnish working rules.

See from where to look for jobs in Finland. Check also the European jobs network to find out job possibilities throughout Europe, also in Finland. Jobs in Finland service aims to aggregate job openings that don’t require Finnish skills. But take into account that if you work as a health care professional in Finland, you must be able to speak well enough either Finnish or Swedish.

For vacancies you can also contact directly Finnish employers. You can contact e.g. any of the five University Hospitals in HelsinkiKuopio, Turku, Oulu or Tampere. Furthermore, there are regional hospitals and local hospitals, such as city hospitals. Health centre in-patient wards may also be called hospitals. Private hospitals supplement the public services for example by providing day surgeries.

Municipal social welfare and health care services form the basis of the Finnish social welfare and health care system. Private companies also provide services alongside the public sector. In addition, Finland has a wide range of social welfare and health care organisations, providing services both free of charge and for a fee. See more. However, the organisation of public healthcare, social welfare and rescue services will be reformed: these services will be transferred from municipalities to wellbeing services counties from 2023.

Your Europe webpage offers good help and advice for EU nationals and their family. See also an illustrative video on how to apply for the European Professional Card (EPC).

The pages of Info Finland contain important basic information for immigrants on the functioning of society and opportunities in Finland.

SIMHE Services (Supporting Immigrants in Higher Education) are for immigrants to recognize their competencies and to guide them for suitable educational and career paths. The purpose is to ensure that the previous studies and degrees of highly educated immigrants are identified and recognised according to national policies as quickly as possible so that these people find their way to appropriate education and careers paths. See more precisely on Metropolia University of Applied Sciences web page: information on the SIMHE services and guidance and councelling services.

In addition to SIMHE, there are unfortunately at the moment hardly any clear, nation wide, and permanent services for nurses from outside EU-countries to offer paths to acquire the licence to work in Finland as a nurse.


To practice as a nurse in Finland


The National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (Valvira) grants, upon application, the right to practice as a licenced or authorised professional and authorises the use of the occupational title of healthcare professional.

Valvira registers all persons granted professional practice rights in the Terhikki-register and also maintains information on all registered nurses. A person practicing as a healthcare professional in Finland without a licence may be sentenced to a fine or imprisonment.

In addition, all medical or health care professionals working in Finland must be able to speak well enough either Finnish or Swedish. See information on Finnish and Swedish language courses for adults. There are also some self-help materilal like videos available to practice and to familiarize oneself with the Finnish language.

National legislation closely regulates the education and professional practice of health care personnel. Nursing training in Finland is also based on the European Union’s Directive 2005/36/EC,amended by Directive 2013/55/EU. Therefore, the requirements in Finland are similar to those of elsewhere in the European Union and other collaborating European countries. See the national list of competencies for a nurse responsible for general care, page 60 in English, and the new national curricula.

Information on Finnish health care system you will find e.g. on the web page of Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL). The page contains many useful links and clear information on the service system in Finland. Finland is about to have a big social and health care reform in the near future.

The brochure of Finnish Nurses Association also includes many facts and figures on Finnish health care, and more spefically on nursing .

The Study in Finland –website offers a lot of information on Finnish higher education possibilities for international students.

See also a useful brochure Foreign nurse's guide to Finnish working life, drawn up at the Satakunta University of Applied Sciences by Taina Kilpeläinen.

As soon as you have been registered as a nurse in Finland by Valvira, you can apply for the membership of the Finnish Nurses Association and of Tehy, the Finnish Union of Health and Social Care Professionals. Membership is voluntary, but highly recommended.

Welcome to Finland! Welcome to join the Finnish Nurses Association!